In a game of lead changes, runs, and clutch three-point shooting, the Capilano University Blues fell 63-61 to Vancouver Island University Mariners on Friday night in a match-up that went down the final seconds.
The two teams sported even 6-2 records heading into contest, but it was VIU who dominated early on. The Mariners started the game 6-for-6 from beyond the arc, which powered the visiting side to a 30-13 lead after the first quarter. The Blues started to chip away in the second frame – with Sherrie Errico coming off the bench to help spark CapU with seven points – but Capilano still trailed by 14 heading into halftime.
Capilano then stormed out of the break with a 13-2 run which quickly cut VIU’s lead to three, as the home team ramped up their defensive pressure and ball movement on offence. The Blues took their first lead of the game heading into the fourth quarter, as a three-pointer from Emma Cunningham put them up 49-48.
The two sides continued to go at each other over the final 10 minutes, with both teams hitting big shots down the stretch. Reiko Ohama scored eight-straight points for CapU to put them up 56-51, but the Mariners responded with a couple three-pointers to pull it back to a one-possession game. VIU then tied things up at 61 with 16.9 seconds remaining, and on their last possession Emma Platner drew a shooting foul and made both her free throws to make it 63-61.
The Blues called a timeout with 3.1 seconds left, but were unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded.
Three Capilano players reached double-figures in the contest, with Carmelle M’Bikata leading the way with 16 to go along with 10 rebounds. Ohama added 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while Errico had 10 points.
CapU shot 30.8% from the field in the contest and 28.6% from beyond the arc, while VIU countered with rates of 39.3% and 42.9%, respectively. Emily Clarke led the way for the Mariners with 23 points and 11 boards.
The Blues fall to 6-3 on the season and suffer their first loss of the season on home court, while VIU improves to 7-2. The two teams will square off again tomorrow afternoon in the rubber match of their three-game series, with tip-off at 1:00pm in the Sportsplex.